by Mak Karge, Assistant SID
The Whitworth Pirates shut out the George Fox Bruins 12-0 on Sunday at Merkel Field, pushing the Pirates to the top of the Northwest Conference baseball standings. Ryan Kingma pitched eight scoreless innings, allowing Whitworth to hand the high octane George Fox offense its first shutout of 2019.
The Pirates (12-10 overall, 9-3 NWC) slowly built a lead by scoring runs in every inning from the second through the fifth. They also had four in the eighth. The Bruins (15-8, 11-4) utilized six pitchers, five of whom pitched one inning. Starter Chase Fetzer (2-1) threw three innings and allowed three earned runs on seven hits. Fetzer's loss was his first of the season.
Liam Fitzpatrick went 3-3 with a run scored to lead Whitworth's offense. Taylor Poffenroth was 2-4 with two runs. Cody Simmons also went 2-4 and drove in a pair of runs. Eleven Pirates got at least one hit and Whitworth finished with 18 hits in the game.
Meanwhile Kingma (5-2) dominated an offense that came into the series hitting over .320 and leading the league in runs. He allowed only a pair of singles and finished with five strikeouts. Jake Briones finished up the ninth and struck out a pair of Bruins.
Whitworth passed George Fox in the standings and is now tied with Pacific (17-9, 9-3) atop the NWC, but the Pirates swept the Boxers two weeks ago. The Bucs will travel to Pacific Lutheran next weekend. The next home series will be April 6-7 against Puget Sound.